Uncompressed Lossless (WAV) vs Compressed (FLAC / ALAC) - O/T discussion moved from main forum thread
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bilboda

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New discoveries are made all the time. That is how science progresses. They are usually made because a condition is observed that can't be defined. Take note that the undefined condition has already been discovered but technology and insight have not not caught up yet to the point that it can be measured and quantified.
A black hole was not discovered objectively, It was a poorly defined, observed condition first. It has been defined objectively since, and that is still going thru refinement and I suspect it always will.
 
I am of the mind that my earlier ABX of the small sample is just too narrow to know if there is difference in the recording. What if I listened to the music like I usually do. Would I notice a difference?
I did not do ABX testing with my Uptone Regen, how could I? I did notice the difference though, not by analysis of a musical passage, but by listening to the song.
 
I don't think everything in audio reproduction can be measured. I don't believe it is possible.
 
There is a stereophile review of the Schitt Ragnarok with tests and I took away 2 things that matter here.
 
1)Atkinson found extremely high levels of distortion at certain points. Based on the reviewers observations of the amp's performance, he knew he had to dig deeper. Subjective led to objective.
He contacted the maker and learned that the amp was adjusting bias based on the music that was playing. A new concept. Somehow, he devised a test that would accommodate for that and got better test results.
A new testing method was developed because of the reviewer's subjective observation.
 
2) The maker developed his bias control by spending long nights reading data dumps of music so he could separate the music signal in the electricity from any other readings.
Perhaps a data dump comparison of flac and wav might shed some light and maybe not. I'm inclined to thing the process may not be refined enough to be certain, but then again, maybe it is.
 
The point being that there may still be a yet undeveloped method to measure the difference between the wav and the flac. Because you are unable to prove the difference exists does not mean you have proven the difference does not exist. All you have proven is that if  a difference does exist, you are not able to prove it , objectively.
 
I'd say that the jury is still out on this one, until proven otherwise.
 
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post-12547875
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Unfortunately that;'s where you're wrong.  You know what bit-perfect is right?  That means bit for bit, the two files are identical.  Not similar - identical.
 
When you have two exact files - the same in every way - they sound the same right.  This has been known for 50 years.  There is no mystery 
.
 
Well you take the two files - and the only difference is the container, when they are decoded, they produce the same PCM file.  2 bit-perfect PCM copies of each other.  Its why you can't hear a difference when you take away other stimulii.  All that is left is the same sound.  And it's not similar - its a perfect copy.  So there can't be a difference.  And if there is - you're imagining it I'm afraid.  We humans are very good at doing that.
 
Unfortunately we're also very good at convincing ourselves that there must be another way, or something we don't know.  Except this time there isn't.
 
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post-12547900
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haiku

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  New discoveries are made all the time. That is how science progresses. They are usually made because a condition is observed that can't be defined. Take note that the undefined condition has already been discovered but technology and insight have not not caught up yet to the point that it can be measured and quantified.
A black hole was not discovered objectively, It was a poorly defined, observed condition first. It has been defined objectively since, and that is still going thru refinement and I suspect it always will.
 
I am of the mind that my earlier ABX of the small sample is just too narrow to know if there is difference in the recording. What if I listened to the music like I usually do. Would I notice a difference?
I did not do ABX testing with my Uptone Regen, how could I? I did notice the difference though, not by analysis of a musical passage, but by listening to the song.
 
I don't think everything in audio reproduction can be measured. I don't believe it is possible.
 
There is a stereophile review of the Schitt Ragnarok with tests and I took away 2 things that matter here.
 
1)Atkinson found extremely high levels of distortion at certain points. Based on the reviewers observations of the amp's performance, he knew he had to dig deeper. Subjective led to objective.
He contacted the maker and learned that the amp was adjusting bias based on the music that was playing. A new concept. Somehow, he devised a test that would accommodate for that and got better test results.
A new testing method was developed because of the reviewer's subjective observation.
 
2) The maker developed his bias control by spending long nights reading data dumps of music so he could separate the music signal in the electricity from any other readings.
Perhaps a data dump comparison of flac and wav might shed some light and maybe not. I'm inclined to thing the process may not be refined enough to be certain, but then again, maybe it is.
 
The point being that there may still be a yet undeveloped method to measure the difference between the wav and the flac. Because you are unable to prove the difference exists does not mean you have proven the difference does not exist. All you have proven is that if  a difference does exist, you are not able to prove it , objectively.
 
I'd say that the jury is still out on this one, until proven otherwise.

Beautifully put. Thumbs up.
 
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post-12547938
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And that is where I leave you gentlemen.  Unsubbing.  Unfortunately there are none so blind - as those that choose not to see 

 
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post-12547986
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bilboda

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  Unfortunately that;'s where you're wrong.  You know what bit-perfect is right?  That means bit for bit, the two files are identical.  Not similar - identical.
 
When you have two exact files - the same in every way - they sound the same right.  This has been known for 50 years.  There is no mystery 
.
 
Well you take the two files - and the only difference is the container, when they are decoded, they produce the same PCM file.  2 bit-perfect PCM copies of each other.  Its why you can't hear a difference when you take away other stimulii.  All that is left is the same sound.  And it's not similar - its a perfect copy.  So there can't be a difference.  And if there is - you're imagining it I'm afraid.  We humans are very good at doing that.
 
Unfortunately we're also very good at convincing ourselves that there must be another way, or something we don't know.  Except this time there isn't.

Your reasoning is sound but you skipped a step. Decoding to wav does give you the same pcm file. But does decoding and playing on the fly give you the same results? As the fellow observed in the older thread, decoding flac to wav in memory and then playing the file from memory did give him the same results as playing the wav. Results he was not getting playing the flac directly.
One might surmise he heard what he expected to hear. It is a better process to eliminate a variable but you can't say with certainty that he only heard what he expected to hear..
This has not been proven objectively.
I'll be listening to my wav vs flac/on the fly and while I won't be able to prove anything, I will at least be able to hear for myself over the course of the entire album.
 
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post-12548082
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1TrickPony

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Most modern players today have more than enough processing power to put no extra load whatsoever on the decompression.  A player today that has this issue is essentially a sub-par player IMO.
 
Not sure I'd agree entirely about your assessment with the last statement. Some players just need further updates or rockboxing  to get "updated". There's a lot of factors to consider when we look at purchasing DAPS. Great sounds with budget friendly price tags almost always sound like a superb deal.


And besides, you yourself said that if a dap plays WAVS well (which should be equal if not better than FLACS)...then it should be totally competent player. FLACs is a superb option when it comes to saving space. Some DAPs have internal storage, others don't. Others have plenty of options with external sd cards. When it comes to objectivity, I try and not get my attitudes in the way of things.
 
 
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post-12548083
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gregorio

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  New discoveries are made all the time. That is how science progresses.
 
What have new discoveries got to do with it or how science progresses? Science knew that 01 = 01 a great many years ago and has not progressed at all because 01 still equals 01, even today centuries later!
 
  Take note that the undefined condition has already been discovered but technology and insight have not not caught up yet to the point that it can be measured and quantified.
 
Why do we need to take note of that, when there are no undefined conditions.
 
Originally Posted by bilboda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
I don't think everything in audio reproduction can be measured. I don't believe it is possible.
 
You're joking right, do you know what audio recording is? The frequency and amplitude of a sound wave is measured/converted into an electrical signal with an analogous frequency and amplitude, that signal is then stored on tape, cut into a vinyl disk or converted into zeros and ones. What you believe is irrelevant because if it can't be measured then it can't be recorded and by definition, if it can't be recorded then it can't be reproduced!
 
Originally Posted by bilboda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
The point being that there may still be a yet undeveloped method to measure the difference between the wav and the flac.
 
Do you really believe that someone is going to develop a "method to measure the difference between" 01 and 01?
 
I'd say that the jury is still out on this one, until proven otherwise.
 
It would have to be a jury of two year olds, who don't yet know that 01 = 01!
 
Honestly, some of the stuff people (audiophiles) come out with absolutely beggars belief.
 
G
 
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post-12548128
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bilboda

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I find your responses just a bit inflammatory and mildly insulting. I guess you just want to take a stand or you may be hung over, I don't know which. I mean, I could go point to point with you but I can see you are not interested in the discussion, just the argument. You won't mind if I just choose to ignore you from now on, I hope. If you'd like, I will explain the points you brought up but not if you just wanna argue.
 
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post-12548168
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gregorio

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  I find your responses just a bit inflammatory ...
 
My responses are inflammatory? You don't think that effectively stating that 01 does not equal 01 is not far more inflammatory?
 
  I will explain the points you brought up ... I could go point to point with you but I can see you are not interested ...
 
No, you really can't. If I suspected for even a moment that you really could logically explain how 01 does not equal 01 then yes, I would be interested but as that's impossible and you obviously can't, what's there to be interested in?
 
G
 
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post-12548181
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haiku

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For me it´s really simple. When I listen to my music under normal conditions (lying/sitting on my sofa) I can hear all kinds of differences with my gear (X7+Monks). When I do an abx test, I can´t. But then what´s the use? When I return to my normal listening, all the differences are there again! So for me, this tells me that the only test that´s worth anything is the subjective approach.
 
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Ruben123

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I find your responses just a bit inflammatory and mildly insulting. I guess you just want to take a stand or you may be hung over, I don't know which. I mean, I could go point to point with you but I can see you are not interested in the discussion, just the argument. You won't mind if I just choose to ignore you from now on, I hope. If you'd like, I will explain the points you brought up but not if you just wanna argue.

He's being completely objective and honest, and not agreeing with you. Which is easy because there's not much to agree on with your posts. Just 1 simple question: if you can sure tell flac and WAV apart with your eyes open, what difference is it when you only close your eyes and determine? The whole test is the same further, only difference is if you look or not. Why is a blind test flawed then, and how?
 
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post-12548227
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gregorio

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  For me it´s really simple. When I listen to my music under normal conditions (lying/sitting on my sofa) I can hear all kinds of differences with my gear (X7+Monks). When I do an abx test, I can´t. But then what´s the use? When I return to my normal listening, all the differences are there again! So for me, this tells me that the only test that´s worth anything is the subjective approach.
 
That's not "really simple", really simple is 01 = 01!!
 
  So for me, this tells me that the only test that´s worth anything is the subjective approach.
 
If your "subjective approach" is the only way that you can prove 01 does not = 01, then that tells me (and hopefully any sane person) that your approach is absolutely worthless. How on earth do you manage to avoid this logical conclusion?
 
G
 
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post-12548239
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bilboda

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It's not quantitative. There is no measurement. It is an approximation. If you wanna claim there is no proof that there is a difference, provide proof that there is no difference.
Decoding a file and comparing the wav is not the same as playing it back and decoding on the fly.
All of our music, with the exception of live unamplifed music, reaches us via electricity. There is no such thing as digital electricity. All of our music is analogue as a result.
Whether it gets converted to digital or not, it is all in the physical world whether stored on a hard drive, sd card or vinyl.
You change the physical form of the file when you convert to flac. It occupies less physical space on your had drive. It's analogue component has changed.
Whether this matters to the point that you can hear it, I have no idea. Whether this is the reason it sounds different I also have no idea.
The point is that something has changed, processing is different, software in use is different, electrical current in the processor and memory is different.
 
I still don't know if this affects sound. Audioquest and PSAudio are 2 companies that have stated that it does. None has provided proof. No one has provided proof that the sound does not change either, just conjecture. I'm in this for my curiosity. I don't think we will see proof one way or the other.
 
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post-12548278
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gregorio

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  It's not quantitative. There is no measurement.
 
Huh? Digital audio is zeros and ones, what do you think is stored on your HD or CD, an undefined amount of alien matter?
 
  If you wanna claim there is no proof that there is a difference, provide proof that there is no difference.
 
I already have, 01 = 01, that's my proof. If you want to disprove what everyone has known for centuries, then go ahead, let's see your proof.
 
G
 
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If I take a WAV and a FLAC made therefrom and capture the PCM stream coming out of my media player and going into my DAC, I get identical samples. The difference isn't any kind of noise or botched samples, it's 0, everywhere: the DAC is receiving the same samples from the two formats out of the media player (in this case DeaDBeef). I am pretty certain that would hold for any file I chose. And even if the media player were botching the decompression, I wouldn't bet that it would manifest as anything musical (soundstage, air,  whatever), it would probably sound like weird clicks or the like.
 
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